Paris Part 3: The Wedding

Chapelle Expiatoire

Chapelle Expiatoire

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Mr. and Mrs. Tori Bourne!

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The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. It was small, intimate, and very elegant. Kitty personalized every detail so that while fancy, the chapel and the reception hall also felt warm and welcoming.

A destination wedding seems tricky to plan, but Kitty and Tori really pulled it off. From remembering to pack two wedding gowns, a tux, center pieces, favors, place cards (in order by table), and all of their clothes for two weeks of travel (Paris for a week and then their honeymoon) to setting hair appointments and organizing a chapel ceremony and reception at a separate venue — their guests were perpetually impressed! The day before the wedding, Kitty’s cousin and her boyfriend, who live in Paris, took the bride and groom on a wedding photography tour of the city. They were photographed in millions of locations, including beneath the glowing Eiffel Tower from the vantage point of the Bir-Hakeim bridge (AKA “the Inception bridge” for those of you who know that reference from the movie).

On the day of the wedding, Tori, Sean, and I went early to Chapelle Expiatoire to set up for the ceremony — though there wasn’t much to do. The chapel itself is beautiful and required no decoration. All we had to do was arrange chairs, which were delivered an hour or so before the event.

The bride arrived along with some of her closest friends. Next, the officiant/musician arrived, and he did a quick rehearsal with the bride and groom. Kitty assigned me the task of figuring out how we could get her from the basement to the entrance to the chapel without being seen by the guests or by her groom. I found a gate that led to the side yard of the church and asked the docent if she wouldn’t mind unlocking the gate that would allow the bride from the side yard to the front, where she could gracefully enter for the ceremony. After a bit of arguing (“But her dress will get dirty!”), she agreed, and I let the bride know.

I was most honored to help Kitty put on her gorgeous wedding gown. She looked absolutely stunning. Though nervous, she seemed ready to get the show on the road once we got the signal that all 36 guests had arrived and had been seated. (Sean, Tori, and the rest of our apartment crew worked hard to get everyone sitting down in time!) I gathered Kitty’s train into my arms and assisted her through the side yard, out to the front of the church, and even over a rope that was meant to keep out trespassers. After passing her off to her proud and smiling father, I ran back around and up the stairs to the chapel to be seated next to my date.

The ceremony was very nice. Kitty said her vows in both English and French, and the officiant recited his part in both languages as well, since Kitty’s French relatives were present. Sean did a great job handing the rings over to Tori and holding Kitty’s bouquet (a best man and maid of honor in one!). Once they were man and wife, we all took photos and then went to the front steps for group shots.

Between the ceremony and reception, Kitty got an up-do with a gorgeous fascinator (we all learned that that’s what those cute headpieces are called…apt, I think!). Meanwhile, Tori, Sean, and I taxied over to the reception site (Maison des Polytechniciens) to set-up. The bride and her friend, Georgina, showed up just in time to help us; we actually just sat on the pretty terrace chatting while we waited for the caterers to set the tables! The place cards and center pieces were darling — place cards with Tori and Kitty’s cat, Pistachio, and center pieces featuring baby pictures of the bride and groom. As favors, they gave pink luggage tags to the women and antique-looking keys to the men. For their guest book, everyone took Polaroid photos of themselves and wrote a little note to accompany them. Such a great idea!

The reception was lovely — everyone mingling, eating, drinking, and delighting in the fact that we were all actually in PARIS! The meal was gourmet and delicious, the guests were wonderful people I hope to meet again, and the bride and groom were truly happy to be together and to be with close friends and family on their special day. It was such an honor to be with them that day.

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